Gustav Merkel was born in Oberoderwitz, Saxony, November 12, 1827.
He studied music under Julius Otto and Johann Schneider, and was also a favorite pupil of Reissiger and Schumann. In 1858 he was appointed organist of the Waisenkirche, Dresden; in 1860 he went to the Kreuzkirche’ and in 1864 he became court organist. From 1867 to 1873 he was director of the Dresden Singakademie. Merkel both as organist and composer of organ music, ranks very high among musicians. His compositions include preludes, fugues, fantasias, sonatas, etc. Besides organ music, he published pieces for the violin and pianoforte, and a few songs, of which the “Songs of Spring” are the best known.
He died in Dresden, October 30, 1885.